I was born Samuel Jordan, but ”Simone” became my chosen name, the one I picked when I turned 19. That was when I committed to living my life as a woman. For the first time in my life, I actually felt like I had found the person that I was supposed to be. I felt beautiful. I felt attractive. I knew I was wanted because the moment I walked out of the door, “wow.”
Living as Simone was a far cry from growing up as a Christian child who dreamed of one day becoming a pastor. All that changed when I was abused by a friend’s family member when I was eight years old. He made me pretend like he was the man and I was the woman. My innocence was snatched away from me.
As the abuse continued, I started to seek it out. I thought, “maybe this is what I’m supposed to do.” I never told my parents and started to explore homosexuality. However, guilt and shame filled my heart.
I asked God, “whatever this feeling is, I need you to take this out.”
Nothing really changed until my mother found out. Our relationship shifted and I became her curse. She could no longer look at me. I loved my mom so I stopped my promiscuous lifestyle hoping to patch things up with her. Sadly, that never happened because two years later, she died from cancer. My father soon moved in with another woman and I felt more alone than ever.
I turned back to the gay community as Simone. Living as a transgender, Simone got the love and acceptance that I never got as Samuel. However, the guilt and shame resurfaced.
I went home to Fort Myers and stayed with a family friend. Her only condition was for me to go to church with her. I was desperate for help. I thought that God would never accept me after I had transformed into a whole new person. But I was wrong, he showed me that all I had to do was make the decision. When I finally did, I finally felt accepted as Samuel.
God showed me my true identity. Now, I am able to live as my true self, the way God had intended.